In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,1 the Grecian Jews2 among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows3 were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.4
So the Twelve gathered all the disciples5 together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God6 in order to wait on tables.
Brothers,7 choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit8 and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them9
and will give our attention to prayer10 and the ministry of the word."
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,11 a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;12 also Philip,13 Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed14 and laid their hands on them.15
So the word of God spread.16 The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly,17 and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs18 among the people.
Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene19 and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia20 and Asia.21 These men began to argue with Stephen,
but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.22
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)